In The Unreluctant Years, Lillian H. Smith says "that a new book's claim to stand beside a well-loved favorite rests in the degree to which it possesses the magic of a Lewis Carroll or a Stevenson or a Mark Twain."
With what infinite certainty do we realize in Mayne's books that children do things 'with blitheness,' are endlessly searching for lasting truth, and in the process, reveal to us the heart of the matter. "The eager, reaching, elusive spirit of childhood is here. It has its own far horizons and a friendly and familiar acquaintance with miracle." It is because of this quality, which is innate in the books of William Mayne, that we cannot fail to recognize his universality, his...
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